Choc maker hopes yellow proves mellow

SWEET SAMPLES: Mark Donovan holds the chocolates that are part of the new Yellow Pages campaign.
SWEET SAMPLES: Mark Donovan holds the chocolates that are part of the new Yellow Pages campaign.

A new chocolate bar being developed for telephone directory publisher Yellow's latest advertising campaign is about to provide a Hamilton business with nationwide recognition.

The development of a "yellow" chocolate bar is the latest publicity stunt from the company, following its yellow treehouse restaurant campaign last year.

The company has asked aspiring actor Josh Winger to develop a chocolate bar that tastes like "yellow" and Hamilton company Donovan's is making the samples. Every part of the process, from finding office space to the distribution of the final product, is sourced from the Yellow Pages directories.

This morning Mr Winger set off on a road trip from Auckland to Invercargill, taking 45,000 samples of four specially developed "yellow" flavours from Donovan's Chocolates. If Mr Winger chooses a Donovan's flavour for the Yellow chocolate bar, there will be up to 500,000 bars on the market by mid-January.

While the public reaction will be a large factor in deciding the taste, Yellow public relations spokesperson Sarah Geel said that "ultimately, it is Josh's mission, so it is up to him".

"If people see the campervan, just approach him and ask for some samples."

Donovan's Chocolates chief executive Mark Donovan said the company produced the run of specially devised flavours – tangy lemon, pineapple custard, french toast and kowhai honey – last weekend. If Donovan's chocolates were selected as the final product, the company would gain a huge amount of national exposure, Mr Donovan said. "If Josh chooses us, then they are talking about going into production mid-January.

"That would be right when we would be expecting to slow down."

The opportunity to raise the company's profile in New Zealand comes at a time when it is experiencing huge export growth.

Donovan's expected to increase export sales by more than 100 per cent over the next 12 months. There was interest in Australia and the United States, and the company was looking at adding extra shifts and employing more staff to meet the demand.

"We are supplying K-Mart in Australia, which is huge over there, and America is looking good as well."

Waikato Times